After taking the reigns as a true freshman last season, Jacob Eason’s sophomore campaign is a crucial part of Georgia’s future success. This offseason and spring his progression shined through despite true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm coming in and challenging Eason from the start. The competition continues, but after spring workouts head coach Kirby Smart seems impressed with the returning quarterback along with his teammates.
IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE YOUNG QUARTERBACK:
Eason struggled last season as any true freshman quarterback should. His accuracy issues seemed to be growing pains. However, this offseason according T to wide receiver Javon Wims the atmosphere’s changed.
“The training wheels are off this year. They’re giving Eason the ability to be a better second-year quarterback,’’ Wims said.
Wims touched on that year one was about Eason getting to know the system and establishing relationships with new coaches and players. Now the real challenge comes, Eason must put things together and improve without the crutch of being young. Terry Godwin highlighted the young quarterback on knowing the playbook better and growing up.
“I’d say he feels a lot more comfortable right now. His freshman year he was a little antsier and nervous,” Godwin said. “I feel like he’s calmed down and knows the playbook like the back of his hand. He tells me when I’m wrong, and I tell him. I mean that’s helpful and the kind of quarterback you want. He’s making the calls, throwing the passes he’s supposed to complete and overall throwing the ball great.”
COMPETITION IS GOOD:
Smart mentioned in his press conferences that Eason and Fromm fed off each other and forced each other to be great. He mentioned a few times how high of a football IQ Fromm has and how it’s forced Eason to change.
“There are some things Jacob can handle now and do a lot more things,” Smart said. “Being able to open things up to run the ball as well as throw the ball and just getting him options to check into and out of things. One thing it always helps when you get a certain look, and you like that look to run a certain play. And a guy can get you in a right play. He’s more comfortable with that now than he was at the end of last year.”
EMERGING INTO HIS LEADERSHIP ROLE:
Leadership didn’t seem to come naturally at first for Jacob Eason, but as the season progressed he slowly emerged as one. After his second spring workout, the players said he’s grown into his leadership role. Jeb Blazevich pointed out that Eason’s more vocal now and how it’s improved his leadership abilities.
“Eason’s speaking up a lot more. He’s got great things to say, but he’s finally getting us on the same page as him,” Blazevich said. “I mean we’ll go out there and do 7-on-7 on our own, and it’s always hectic because no one has to be there. However, he’s always the one to get guys going and starts everything off. Eason’s not afraid to bark at guys when he needs to, and it’s great for him to come out of his shell and emerge as more of a leader.” Isaac Nauta also praised the quarterback on his leadership skills and his improvements from year one.
“I think he’s been doing well with it,” Nauta said. “Obviously, you know some adjustment just being able to take that step from being a rookie really, not knowing what’s going on. Then playing a full season and stepping into a leadership role to where everyone is looking at you to get guys where they’re supposed to be. I think he’s done a very good job with it and I’m excited to see what he does with it this season.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR EASON?
“He’s got a long way to go, but he’s come a long way,” Smart said. “Eason understands the protection, where last season there were times that he did and times that he didn’t. He had a lot on his plate. To manage that offense is a challenge coming straight in from high school… I think he’s in a better place, and he’s more confident throwing the ball.”
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